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Les harraga en Algérie : émigration et contestation

Abstract : This dissertation examines the political implications of harga in Algeria. Literally translated, harga means “burn”. In the Maghreb dialects, the term has come to describe a specific form of migration. Harragas (literally “those who burn”) are those who try to leave their home country without a passport or visa, on small boats, risking their lives. This dissertation uses Albert Hirschman’s model of “Exit, Voice and Loyalty” in order to stimulate reflection and explore the link between exit (emigration) and voice (protest). Drawing from a wide variety of sources – semi-structured interviews with harraga and their family members, observations of trials, newspaper articles, cultural products (movies, novels, paintings, etc.), political speeches, legal texts and policy papers – this dissertation documents the causes of migration and the emigration patterns from Algeria of harraga. It also studies the publicization and politicization process of harga in Algeria. Last, it analyzes the policies implemented by the Algerian government to limit harga. Harragas are trapped in the margins of a corrupt and unequal socio-economic system that offers no prospects of improvement. They cannot leave the country legally because of the restrictive policies implemented by the destination states. Therefore, they try to leave Algeria on small boats, risking their lives. Harragas do not leave in silence. Many newspaper articles and cultural products talk about harragas, who are referred to as undeniable proof that there is something wrong in Algeria. The Algerian authorities are deemed responsible for the departure of these young Algerians and are criticized for the repressive policies implemented as a response to harga. Domestic and international factors influence Algerian migration policy. Domestically, the policy is a response to the criticism that harga provoke. Internationally, the toughening migration laws and increasing penalties in Algeria.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 14, 2022 - 10:20:20 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 15, 2022 - 3:11:35 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-03641118, version 1



Farida Souiah. Les harraga en Algérie : émigration et contestation. Science politique. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014IEPP0049⟩. ⟨tel-03641118⟩



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